Difficulty Sleeping (13+ years old)
What Is It?
Some young people find it really hard to sleep, particularly if they have worries on their mind. Some young people also prefer to stay up and watch TV or use their mobile phone. Parents find that young people may push the boundaries and want to go to bed later and later. Young people also have more demands on their time, such as school work or clubs after school, which can affect the amount of sleep they get, leading to them feeling tired. Growth spurts lead to a greater need for rest and sleep. Most teenagers need 8-9 hours sleep but many get less than this, causing health problems and poor concentration at school.
What Might Help?
- For Parents/carers: Talk through with your child about the benefits of sleep and how this can make you feel as though you have more energy.
- Have a good sleep environment: Making sure your bedroom is at the right temperature, dark enough and not too cluttered. It’s also good to not be on electronic devices before bed time, as this can keep the brain awake.
- Getting a good sleep routine: Try and do something relaxing before bedtime (such as reading a book or listening to calming music) and aim to get a good sleep routine in place. Avoid naps as this may mean it’s harder to sleep at night.
- Seek professional help: there may be underlying emotional or behavioural problems which a referral to CAMHS may be able to help with. For example, severe sleep problems may be associated with depression. Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) may also have problems sleeping.
Useful Clips and Stories:
- ZEDS is a free sleep app developed by Channel 4 for teenagers
- A booklet from the Sleep Council
- NHS provide some good sleep tips for young people
- Royal College of Psychiatry have some good advice on sleep difficulties.